George Raggett, what can I tell you about this kid? Really..I don’t know! What I do know is that he’s been an avid CFYE supporter from the get-go, I know he moved from the UK to Germany to live with a gorgeous redhead named Donna. I know he’s one of the funniest people I’ve never met (and I can tell you, there’s a lot of funny people I’ve never met!) and I know he has a very bright future as an illustrator, cartoonist or whatchumecallit since he’s been upping the ante with his drawing game.
And having people with bright features tied to your platform is never a bad thing. Having them tied to a chair isn’t bad either, that’s why we kidnapped the good man to ask him some questions about his first book-release and his aspirations as illustrator.
“This warehouse is cold. And what’s with the tape? Why do you need to tape my hands together? why are you wearing that mask?”
How are you doing George?
How am I? Well, I could be better. I’m just shocked that you’d want to interview me here of all places? This warehouse is cold. And what’s with the tape? Why do you need to tape my hands together? why are you wearing that mask?
Hmmm, about me. Well, I grew up in the county of Hampshire, England. I had a pretty normal upbringing, nothing strange. My father is a carpenter and my mother is a nurse, and I have one sister who cuts people hair. Not for a living, no she just likes going up to random strangers in the street and cutting chunks of their hair out. I’m sure the police will catch her soon.
Anyway, so yeah, I grew up in beautiful England, my first job was for 2 weeks making pots in a pottery and then I became an apprentice to my father, as a carpenter & joiner, but I stopped that because I was just not cut out for it. I could never fill my fathers shoes in that area. I then got a job in a hotel/spa, where i had to carry bags for guests. the worst thing was that the spa was and still is one of the best in England so we always had celebrities coming in who expected me to know who they were. It was a fun job and I’d probably still be there today, but I moved away when I was 20 because I met a nice German lady whilst I was painting in Germany, So I moved to to be with her. Still here now actually.
“I feel sorry for real artists because if I am being categorised as that, we have no hope for art in the future. “
And how is life as an artist treating you?
Life as an artist, well I have never really thought of myself as an artist and I kinda don’t like it when people say I am one. I feel sorry for real artists because if I am being categorised as that, we have no hope for art in the future. I don’t use elegant brush strokes or planned composition. I am a cartoonist if anything. So the question should be, ‘how is life as a cartoonist treating you?’ And to that I would answer: shit. But that’s to be expected. I’m not expecting a huge pay check at the end of each month and I don’t really expect to live an easy life but this was my choice and I’m happy about the majority of what I am doing. If I wanted to stop I would. Maybe the struggling life is something I enjoy.
How would you describe your own work?
I’d describe my own work as, well I guess it is the same as these cartoons you see in newspapers etc.. The only difference is, that I take time on the cartoon itself but not so much time on the captions. You know what I mean? You see these scribble cartoons in magazines like ‘The New Yorker’ but there is absolutely no hard work involved. Unless there is and they hide it well. It’s a style, I’m not hating it. The captions are always brilliantly done and that’s what I mean with them being the opposite of my cartoons. Oh and the colour scheme, I use a colour scheme that I adore. The colours aren’t mixed at all. I just use children’s watercolour sets because they come ready with the best colours. And I do look like a child when I am painting. If I moved my head down half an inch, I’d be French kissing the paper.
“That’s the whole idea I think. Get as many people smiling as I can.”
Do you have any specific goals with your work?
I don’t really have any goals, I am doing this because its satisfying to see people smile. But I don’t have any huge goals, I’d like to paint more commission pieces in the future because I like the challenge, I get a few people asking me to paint their cats or their dogs, and sometimes their children which is really fun. I need more of that. I’d like to make it into some magazines in the future and just basically gain a bigger audience. That’s the whole idea I think. Get as many people smiling as I can.
This is the last question? Yeah? Okay cool. Because I have a bag of cats in my car and I need to paint them pretty quickly before their owners notice they’re missing.